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Designed to win: Exhibition at the London Design Museum.

Image of bike

Timed to coincide with the London Olympic party, the Design Museum in London will host an interesting exhibition: Designed to win. It features product designs that have had a sporting impact, or in the case of the Olympic Velodrome are predicted to have.

One of the designs under consideration is the Lotus type 108 Pursuit Bike from 1992. Designed in the early stages by Mike Burrows it used a monocoque carbon fibre frame and was absolutely radical at the time. It was so radical that early versions of the bike were banned from competition by the Union Cycliste International (UCI). In 1990 the ban was lifted and Lotus became involved in the engineering. In the 1993 Barcelona Olympics the bike was ridden by Chris Boardman when he set a new world record for the 400m pursuit. From then, the bike's fame was sealed.

Then there is the case of sharkskin swimsuits. The swimwear company Speedo began hydro dynamically designing fabrics with the use of sophisticated modelling software. They expanded the research into all aspects of the swimming costume. Introduced at the Athens games, swimming records began falling faster than they had ever done before. By the time of the Beijing Olympics, it seemed human evolution had been leap frogged the times were so fast. FastSkin3 is Speedo's latest version of its revolutionary range, and is also explored in the exhibition.

Designed to win. Design Museum London. 26th July - 18th November.

Testing the fabric

Images of glasses

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